We at The Found Generation have campaigned since we were set up in 2012 for the creation of an All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Youth Employment. The idea was that this cross party forum of MPs and Lords in the UK Parliament would provide a vital voice in Parliament and to the Government of the day on the critical issue of youth unemployment and would have a serious influence on policy. We hoped in particular that this APPG would take a lead from successful groups like the APPG on Financial Education for Young People (supported by the Personal Finance Education Group, or pfeg) which successfully campaigned for Financial Education to be included in the National Curriculum by the Coalition Government.
Ideally it would also have a secretariat – a body providing support and advice to the APPG – which could help the APPG fulfill its goals, particularly by bringing in young people and providing them with a voice in Parliament.
Although an APPG on this subject was finally set up before the last election, proving that our campaign was a worthwhile and necessary one, it initially proved to be ineffective despite our best efforts to advise and support the group.
We are therefore delighted to announce that the APPG on Youth Employment (re-named from the previous APPG on Youth Unemployment) has been relaunched after the 2015 election, with a new Chair – the fantastic Chloe Smith, MP for Norwich North. We are just as delighted to report that our friends at Youth Employment UK, who we actively partner with and work with on their Advisory Board, have been appointed as the first secretariat of the group. This means that there is an active, cross-party, group of experts and campaigners on the subject who will be supporting and helping the APPG.
Critically, there will also be significant potential for young people to be involved in the APPG’s work, including through YEUK’s Youth Ambassador programme and through The Found Generation. This is something we have hoped for since the beginning of our campaign. With that in mind, we can also announce that The Found Generation will be playing a leading role in assisting YEUK on its work as secretariat of the APPG, in recognition of our close work with YEUK and our extensive campaigning and lobbying on the issue. We will be advising and supporting YEUK on this initiative and helping to ensure that MPs and Lords listen to the voice of young people, including pushing the Government to implement policies such as those suggested in our youth-led Manifesto for Youth Employment (we are particularly pleased to see that this is on the APPG’s list of background reading).
You can find out more from the YEUK website, or the new APPG website.